AAA Editor Notes
San Francisco de Asis Church is 4 mi. s. on SR 68 in St. Francis Plaza. Built by Franciscan priests and completed in 1772, this heavily buttressed structure with twin bell towers exemplifies Spanish colonial architecture. Its rounded contours inspired the imaginations of Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe, among other artists.
You can still see straw glinting in the sunlight on the massive adobe walls. Inside are wood pews, two large, carved altar screens divided into painted panels, paintings of saints and a ceiling of wood beams (vigas). The church's simple dignity is best appreciated from the arched portal entrance that overlooks a walled courtyard.
Photography is not permitted inside the church. In the parish hall across the plaza is Henri Ault's mysterious—some say miraculous—luminescent painting “The Shadow of the Cross.”